The company had announced plans to build the plant on 300 acres near the city in northeast Kansas. The project was to include a hatchery, feed mill, processing plant and supporting infrastructure. Production capacity at the facility was estimated at 1.25 million chickens per week when the plant became fully operational. But in September, Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson Foods announced plans to put the project on hold while considering other locations after county commissioners in Leavenworth County, Kansas voted to rescind a resolution of intent to approve revenue bonds totaling $500 million to support construction of the complex.
Grassroots protests targeting the project emerged, putting pressure on government officials. A grassroots non-profit organization called Citizens Against Project Sunset (CAPS), a reference to the code name used for the poultry complex, launched a social media campaign against the plant and served as an organization point for citizens opposed to the project. The group applauded the city council’s resolution.
“The continued presence and involvement of area citizens in local politics and the community speaks volumes about the unity regarding planning for the best interests of our region in the future,” Jen Peak, who helped found CAPS, said in a statement. “The fact that ‘No Tyson In Tongie’ signs are still on every street throughout town and all over the countryside is a testament to the strong, unified and continued opposition to and vigilance regarding the proposed Tyson Project.”
Tyson Foods did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.
Individuals opposing the plant cited concerns about its impact on property values, the local environment and the city’s infrastructure.